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advice on mini 14

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by oth47, Oct 15, 2010.

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  1. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    I've thought about trading for a Ruger mini 14 in .223,stainless.Are they good guns? Any innate problems that you've noticed?If you've owned one would you buy another? Thanx..Charles
  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I have owned several Rugers. All those I chose to buy I was quite happy with. I have never had a Mini 14 of any ilk. I considered and bypassed this firearm as I am somewhat of an accuracy fanatic. Everything I read seemed to indicate that any out of the box factory Mini 14 was an excellent reliable plinker, but not a serious accuracy contender. I have also read stories of tweaked and custom Mini 14's that could produce sub MOA. The AR platform was the way I decided to go. JMHO ....
  3. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    AR definitely has more modularity, accuracy, and I believe reliability. I know, the piston fan-boys will be around in a minute, but it takes more than a piston to make a weapon reliable. I would take a chrome-lined DI AR over a non-chrome-lined piston driven Mini any day.

    I have owned one. I did like it. I am even more fond of the newer ones with improved military sights and better finishes. I understand the new ones are more accurate than the one I had years ago. Now, if Ruger would chrome the bores and chambers, it would be a viable to me. I think the mini does have it's place- it's generally cheaper than an AR.
  4. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    My personal feeling is that if one is dilligent about cleaning after shooting corrosive ammo, then chrome-bore is a non-issue. If shooting modern non-corrosive ammo, then a chrome bore is 'tatas on a boar hog'.......

    I too have heard of the accuracy issues of earlier Mini14's, and have never seen one that compares groupwise to a good AR15 - but they are pretty dependable. My main gripe is the magazines - NOT AR-compatible and more expensive, harder to find high-caps. I have read of some owners modding AR mags to work in the Mini, but have never seen it done.
  5. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    On a good note Seawolf, Ruger sells hi caps again to anyone.

    My old Mini actually worked with USA mags.... I know what you're thinking. No other aftermarket worked, but the blued USA mag 30 rounders worked flawlessly in that gun. I say "that gun" because I know that not many people at all have shared the same experience with USA mag and I probably couldn't repeat the experiment with any other gun. I wouldn't use them for anything today with hi caps everywhere.
  6. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    I've had experience with two of them, one was a good, reasonably accurate rifle, the other would not extract, was tearing the rims off the cartridge cases. I would shoot it before I made the trade, and if it functions well, it would be a way for you to get a rifle in that caliber without laying out cash,which is in short supply for some of us these days.
  7. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I have a shot the police version before... it was fairly accurate at least as accurate as the m-16 i shot in the military... there are some clips that work better than others... i guess they are like most guns... some better than others...
  8. Rex Lee

    Rex Lee Monkey+

    First of all, I really like Rugers. I currently own 2 and have always owned a few. I had a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. I had always wanted one, but was really disappointed in the accuracy, and the lack of reliabilty with anything but low capacity (all that was available at the time) factory magazines. Accuracy was what I called "Minute of Pie Plate" at 100 yards instead of minute of angle. I was lucky if I could keep them all IN a pie plate at 100 yards. Compare this to a Ruger KM77 mountain rifle in .308 that i had, with which I easily shot 3 inch groups easily at 100 yards, and some better.

    I sold it for whatever i could get for it, and probably wouldn't own another unless i got to use it at the range first, to check it's accuracy.
  9. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    This is what I read in MANY gun magazines, and is why I didn't bother buying one.
  10. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Monkey+

    One other negative about the Mini14 is the availability of repair parts. With an AR, you can buy anything you need online. With the Mini14, if the part you need is only available from Ruger, they may require you to ship the rifle to them for repair.

    That being said, I own a Mini14-GB. Accuracy isn't too great, but the rifle is reliable.
  11. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    Well guys,I think you've talked me out of it..I sure don't need a rifle that might have accuracy problems,I have enough of that on my own.I need to spend more time at the range..thanx for the advice..Charles
  12. brotherpoop

    brotherpoop Monkey+++

    I've got the early version in stainless. I use a Leupold (heavy crosshair) 1x4 and of all my rifles this is my fav to carry in nothern Minnesota woods.

    I agree with accuracy not being great. I do reload but never bothered tweaking a load for it since I know it's accuracy limit (humane) is 75 yards on coyotes and that's how I set up for them with bait or a hand caller.

    Plus it chews up the brass so bad I can't even save it for other rifles.

    But...like I say I love how it carrys in the field, really compact. I use 20 round clips with it. I will never sell mine. I have also heard the newer models are more accurate.

    I think they are well over $700.00 now.

    From what I remember they were created by Ruger as a tribute to the M1 Garand which I also own and they do operate somewhat the same. Lots of accessories for them, and lots of tips on how to tune them up out on the World Wide Web.

    I have a youtube video showing my rifle titled: "Pine squirrel problems and how to fix them with a mini-14"

    YouTube - railroadweasel's Channel
  13. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I have owned 5 of them all makes, they all shot the first round good, fair on the second and almost on the 3rd.
    for the kind of money to buy one, without adding the cost of accurizing it you would be farther ahead with an AR, but your mileage may vary and is my personal opinion.And it depends on your definition of enough accuracy too.
  14. XR750

    XR750 Monkey+

    I've have had a Mini 14 181 series since 1977. It's not a min of angle target rifle but it will hit a man size target to 300+ meters and that what I bought for.
  15. Diddy

    Diddy Monkey+

    I own two Mini-14s (580 & 581 series) and I love them. I did a lot of research before making my purchase and it all pointed to the Ruger Mini-14. They are cheaper than most ARs and just as accurate as any run of the mill AR too. The Garand action is much more reliable on top of that.

    There is a lot of talk out there that ARs are so much more accurate but when the SHTF how many of you are going to be taking nice calm bench shots?! There are many accurizing tips and devices available for them.
    Minis excel at ease of handling and follow up shots. With the ATI folding/adjustable stock you can mount anything on it you could an AR.

    As for parts, there are several outlets for anything you need. Just look at Brownell's, Midway, Ruger etc... The only downside as someone else mentioned, which is not a fault of the rifle, are the aftermarket mags. Most are junk. The factory mags are dead on reliable and I have had no problems at all using ProMag 20 rounders. You can get 20 and 30 factory mags from various places.

    The new Minis all have cold hammer forged (tapered) barrels, better sights and some come with flash hiders.

    To each his own and whatever you buy you will be fine with. But if you buy a Mini-14 you won't be disappointed.
    I bought two minis for the price of one AR. And the best spare part is in the form of an identicle rifle.
  16. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I own 2,The first i bought at a estate sale for 250.00
    Included was 5 mag's and 2k round's...How could i pass that up ?
    The second i bought right before Katerina hit....
    Wifey needed one to help out against the ''ZOMBIE's''
    We never had to fire a round during or after the storm....
    Morfed Mini 001.JPG
  17. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  18. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Buying 2x minis for the price of 1x AR is a bit misleading. As QS pointed out, the difference in price isn't as much as you think. Hell, if you catch them at the right time, you can get a Mil-Spec M4 upper from BCM for around $500. A lower can be built for about $200. You can get a Mini as cheap as $400, but you aren't getting any of that new stuff the Mini comes with now. Also, you don't really know if Bubba has burnt up the barrel hip-firing the crap out of it. I can build a heck of an AR in the $600-$700 price range:

    While you can buy parts for a Mini through different outlets, availability is nowhere near where the AR is. Last I checked, Brownells published an AR catalog.... one catalog dedicated to AR parts. Have you ever tried a barrel swap on a Mini? It's a little much for your average Joe. Try a barrel swap on an AR. If you can use a torque wrench, you can do a barrel swap. It's a military weapon made for parts change when something goes wrong. I recommend you build an AR, not buy. Do the research and pick the right parts. This gives you an intimate knowledge of the weapon that will enable you to diagnose and fix about any issue.

    I'm not even going to argue the accuracy issues. Everyone knows that a Mini shoots about 4 MOA and your average AR will put out around 2 MOA or better. With the right stainless barrel, .5 MOA is repeatable. I do believe the new Minis will give an average AR a run for it's money, but I will again point to the negligible difference in price between a new AR and a new Mini. The AR pushes it over the edge when mags, self-serviceability, and parts availability are weighed in.

    As for how accurate a combat weapon needs to be....
    As accurate as possible. While it's true you can hit a man-sized target out to 300M with a mini, what most people don't understand is that in combat, no one stands up for you to shoot at them. What you end up shooting at is a tiny dust signature, muzzle flash, or a "cover shoot". So that "man-sized" target quickly becomes some 6" x 6" target rather quickly. I can tell you from experience that when I've been shot at, I made myself the smallest possible target. There is a reason why we continue with the DM programs and continue to issue nearly every squad a DMR or two.
  19. Rex Lee

    Rex Lee Monkey+

    I don't know how you could possibly promise that. Maybe YOU weren't disappointed, but you can't discount the hundreds of people on forums across the internet who HAVE been disappointed with their mini-14's.
  20. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    It was too wet to work outside today,and I was too lazy to work inside so I thought I'd sacrifice and make a trip to the local gun shop..it's every bit of a whole mile away.The AR Colt was 1079.00,SW was 939.00,Bushmaster was 1029,Rock River was 969.00.I didn't know SW made one and I never heard of Rock River.I see that I'm going to have to save pennies in bigger bunches or maybe start saving a few $ bills.
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